Lizzy Banks powers through final ascent to secure eight-second win on stage four of the Giro Rosa

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Lizzy Banks celebrating the victory - Lizzy Banks powers through final ascent to secure eight-second win on stage four of the Giro Rosa - GETTY IMAGESLizzy Banks celebrating the victory - Lizzy Banks powers through final ascent to secure eight-second win on stage four of the Giro Rosa - GETTY IMAGES
Lizzy Banks celebrating the victory – Lizzy Banks powers through final ascent to secure eight-second win on stage four of the Giro Rosa – GETTY IMAGES
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Britain’s Lizzy Banks took a superb victory on stage four of the Giro Rosa, from Assisi to Tivoli, beating breakaway companion Eugenia Bujak (Ale BTC Ljubljana) with an attack in the final kilometre.” data-reactid=”17″>Britain’s Lizzy Banks took a superb victory on stage four of the Giro Rosa, from Assisi to Tivoli, beating breakaway companion Eugenia Bujak (Ale BTC Ljubljana) with an attack in the final kilometre.

The pair broke clear of the bunch with around 90km remaining of a stage which, at 170km, was the longest of the race and 10km longer than the maximum distance usually permitted in the women’s WorldTour. 

They built up an advantage of around six minutes with 40km remaining, almost enough to put Banks [Equipe Paule Ka] – who began the day 7min14sec off the overall lead – in the virtual leader’s jersey.

Although the gap came down to three minutes with 3km remaining, it was clear by then that the stage victory was going to be decided between the two of them. 

Banks, who took a memorable solo victory on stage eight of last year’s edition, knew she was in good form, having finished second to Lizzie Deignan [Trek-Segafredo] at the recent GP Plouay.

In the end, the 29-year-old kicked in the final part of the cobbled finishing climb into Tivoli, a hilltop town 30km west of Rome, to win by eight seconds.

Defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten [Mitchelton-Scott] kept hold of the pink leader’s jersey, winning the fight from the bunch to cross the line in third place, 1min11sec behind Banks.

Tuesday’s fifth stage begins and ends in Terracina, a 110.3km route including two ascents. The nine-stage race, the only grand tour on the women’s calendar, ends on Saturday.